28 April 2007

7 Days and 15 Minutes ...

... and I'll be setting off in my finery!!

I've been sitting here for the last couple of hours printing off the Order of Service, and have just realised I've wasted all that shoe practising time. So I popped off to put them on. Ouch! I still need to wear them A LOT before next Saturday.

I was hoping to post some photos this week, after doing more spending but, silly me, I took everything over to Dairy House and forgot to take the photos while I was there. I won't be going over again now until after the wedding, by which time there will be other photos to post!! Oooh, no, I've just remembered ... I have a couple of interesting things in the car ... I'll take some piccies now, but you'll have to be patient as I shall have to take great care going downstairs so I don't fall, as the bottom of my shoes are still shiny (I might even give you a glimpse of my shoes! They look so good with my check cotton trousers (not!) bought from here that I feel you should be able to share the experience!). I must be getting used to them though, because I haven't knocked over the waste basket today!

Look at this fabulous unfinished handstitched Victorian quilt . The central area is made up of tiny hexagons - the sides of each measure 14mm or 9/16ths of an inch. It is all superbly done. It's such a shame it wasn't finished. There are a lot of loose pieces of fabric with it so perhaps someone will buy it in total when I take it to Shepton next weekend. I'd love to keep it, but that's not an option.

The set of drawers are for me - for the time being. I'm hoping I can at last get my sewing bits and bobs settled in one place and these drawers will be perfect. Probably not large enough, but good to be going on with!

Talking of sewing - when I was rummaging in the store last week I found a couple of lavender sacks I made a few years ago, got inspired, and came home to make some more. They're very plain and simple as I'm afraid I don't do fiddly very well. I used some of my vintage fabric stash for the fronts and cut up a damaged mangle cloth for the backs. They're simply tied with vintage silky tape so that they can be hung from a hanger (or anywhere for that matter). They're currently pinned on to Daphne, the larger of the two mannequins. I thought I might take them to the next Shepton Fair just in case someone likes them!

Can you see the Rowntrees toffee tin decorated with pansies? I was rather pleased when I spied that.

Once again I'm photographing everything IN the car rather than taking it out and displaying it beautifully, so the dark patches are the shadow cast by the up-and-over garage door, or possibly the back door of the car. Sorry, but I'm doing as little walking about as possible!!

Enjoy a jolly, sunny weekend!

24 April 2007

11 Days and Counting ...

Only 11 days to go. I'm not stressed. I'm cool. I'm calm. I'm collected! Who am I kidding?

I wore my shoes for half an hour this morning and realised I should have started doing that a couple of weeks ago in the hope that I would be able to walk up the aisle in them without tripping over or hobbling. I sat here at my desk for 10 minutes and managed to kick over the waste paper basket because the squared off points seem to end miles away from my toes. I didn't think my foot was anywhere near the basket!! It was such a relief to put on my trainers!

Perhaps I should start walking round the house in my hat so that I can judge the distance from the tip of the brim to the nearest person. I'd hate to poke anyone's eye out or get stuck in a doorway! I bought a vintage bag at the last Shepton Fair but I've become as picky as my Mum, and have decided it's not quite the right shade of navy!!! But I'm not stressed ...

I'm not stressed because ... at last Mum has an outfit. Some of you may think she already had one. She did ... but she didn't like it, so after buying that we've been out on weekly excursions to find an alternative or three. Today we got sorted. And she bought a hat to wear with it, so that's it. Finito. No more outfit shopping. If she decides she doesn't like it tomorrow I may not be responsible for my actions!!!! Don't worry, I'm only joking (well, partly), but it IS all quite true.

This evening I've been going boss-eyed cutting 26-foot long strips of gingham. Can't actually tell you why just now, but I had to stop because I could no longer focus properly, and will do more tomorrow. But I'm not stressed ... honestly!

I wonder if Pam Ayres ever wrote a poem about the mother of the bride ... (If you've never heard of her nor read any of her poems, try here to read "I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth" or "They Should Have Asked My Husband" for a bit of fun ...

Does anyone know the weather forecast for a week on Saturday? If you do, and it's not good, I don't want to know, thank you! Because I'm cool and calm ... and want to stay that way for a bit longer ...

22 April 2007

Mannequins in the Garden

After a disappointing visit to the Creative Crafts/Knit & Stitch Show at Shepton Mallet this morning (mainly cardmaking and beads), I decided that the best place to photograph the mannequins was in the garden.

Here they are chatting under the apple tree! As I have one of my own called Dulcie, these two are Daphne and Dolores while they're in my keeping! If they're not required by my client then I shall desperately try to fit one of them into my car to go to Shepton on 11 May.

20 April 2007

More Spoils ...

Only a couple of photos - taken this morning before going off to Dairy House. The colour of the cushion is about right, but the silk kimono background is more sea-green than the photo shows. I had hoped to take more photos today but I ran out of time.

Just to update those of you who remember that months ago I said I was going to get out my sewing machine ... I finally managed to get a pair of curtains made yesterday for the bathroom. Anything else will have to wait until after the wedding, by which time I shall probably enjoy sitting down and creating. Time will tell ... having just realised that the 3-day Shepton Mallet Fair is the following weekend, so there'll be no 'honeymoon period' for me. It'll be straight back into sorting and packing in order to load up the car on the Thursday night. Oh joy ...

19 April 2007

My Purchases ...

Apologies for poor photos - late at night, artificial light and too tired to display everything properly, but I know some of you were keen to know what I'd bought. I had put some items in the car to take to Dairy House tomorrow before I thought about taking photos, but this will give you some idea ... I bought the two pictures last week. The roses are embroidered and the other, is a print of "Miss-Chief" by Annie Benson Muller.

I was pleased with the 1930s towels/teatowels. The patterns of the damask ones show up beautifully in the first photo, particularly the one on the left.

Do you like the sewing basket with its original cover, pincushion and needle case? It has a little mildew but that will clean off and it should then look the bees knees (whatever made me use that expression? Not one you hear very often today!). The jar of buttons wasn't cheap, but there are some very tiny glove buttons in there, and I have one or two doll collectors who are always looking for tiny buttons, so I think it was worth splashing out. I haven't begun to look at them yet. Perhaps we should have a "guess the number of buttons" competition, although I don't think I have the stamina to count them all in order to declare a winner - certainly not before the wedding at any rate. Only 2½ weeks to go ...

17 April 2007

Woops! ... and Back from Ardingly

Silly me! It's just been pointed out to me that anyone sending an email via the link in my sidebar has their emails bounced back. This is probably because I didn't check my typing (bad news for a former typing and word processing teacher!), and didn't type "tiscali" correctly! From now on all emails should reach me! So sorry if you have tried and failed!!

On a happier note I had a super (and expensive) day at Ardingly. Unbelievably Clare and Mike phoned just as they got off the M23, and I was less than 5 minutes behind them, so they waited and we drove the last few miles in tandem. Considering very little of our respective journeys had taken us on the same road (probably about 25 of my 146 miles), I'm amazed. We went our separate ways but met up for a coffee and a toasted sandwich at lunchtime, and then said our goodbyes in order to do some more shopping!

Although I took the camera I didn't think about taking any photos until I was halfway home, so I'm afraid I can't share the day with you. However ... once I've unpacked my haul I'll show you what I bought. I bought one mannequin but although I saw a few, they were either in poor condition or far, far costlier than was viable. Still ... a wonderful pair of perfect eiderdowns, mangle cloths, 1930s German and French teatowels, some pretty lampshades, a fabric covered box, ribbons, tape, lace, a damaged kimono (by the way, I'm delighted to say that the one I showed you a couple of weeks ago has sold), a few pieces of lace, fabric, a lined sewing basket, and probably some other items I've temporarily forgotten ... I think I had a good day!

16 April 2007

Ardingly Antiques Fair

I'm quite excited because I've decided to go to Ardingly tomorrow (on the trail of a mannequin - I'm meeting someone in the carpark to do a little buying). I've never been before and although it's a 3-hour drive (or thereabouts), it will be so nice to browse round an antiques fair at my leisure, instead of racing round like a thing possessed while someone 'watches' my stand.

I intend taking my camera so hopefully I'll be able to post some photos later. I hope to meet up with Clare and Mike for a coffee and exchange of good stands to visit.

Is anyone else going? We could meet you, too!

12 April 2007

The Crocheted Coat ... and an URGENT request

After the lovely comments left by several of you regarding the coat I crocheted I thought I'd tell you a quick story, and show you some close-up photos ...

The pattern was free with Woman and Home or some such magazine in the late 70s or early 80s - I can't quite remember the year although on reflection I'm fairly sure it was pre-1980. What I DO remember is that having done all the coat and several of the plain/treble inserts, I had 2 triangular shaped pieces left to do, which I sat and crocheted during the amazing Borg/MacEnroe Wimbledon Final which went on ... and on ... and on ... and had us all on the edge of our seats. I suspect that many of you were probably not even born then, or may have been too young to appreciate the intensity of the match. Well ... I finished the two pieces, sewed up the coat and found that these two were more than two inches shorter than the others. The game had been sooo intense that my tension had got tighter and tighter. I had to undo and redo them both!

I made the coat as a size 12 and whilst it fitted me at the time I didn't go anywhere to be able to wear it. Since then I haven't been a suitable size. Maybe when I've finished losing weight I might get in it again, but I'll never seriously wear it. I offered it for sale a couple of years ago, but there were no takers. I would like to sell it now, but I don't know whether I would get it's true value. If anyone is seriously interested, then please email me. I'll be sad to see it go, but what on earth is the point of keeping something I'll never wear, H won't want, and is taking up valuable storage space? (Did you notice the tapestry on the wall in the photo (previous post)? I obviously had a lot of free time in the 70s, becauseI made that, too!)

The URGENT Request

I've just been asked to source 3 Stockman Mannequins - as soon as possible. I appreciate that you may not have any lurking, but if you have one (or three) and wish to sell, please email me. Thank you.

For those of you within striking distance of Shepton Mallet, THE STITCH & CREATIVE CRAFTS SHOW is on at the Royal Bath & West Showground from 19-22 April 2007. I hope to go (fairly flexible as to which day), and if anyone is planning on going it would be super to meet for a coffee and a chat.

11 April 2007

Victorian Bling ... and other stories

Well, I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post (almost). Where HAS that time gone?

I suppose Monday and Tuesday were tied up with sorting stock ready for the Giant Flea Market at Shepton on Easter Sunday, Wednesday was devoted to finding Mum an outfit for the wedding (bought, but she's not happy with it so we're off again on Friday!!!), and quite by chance finding my hat and shoes! Thursday was Dairy House followed by a house call on the way home. I had bought from this lady about 15 months ago but she had a lot more to sell as she's moving house.

All these Victorian buckles came home with me, along with this box of glove stretchers, hair curlers, shoe horns and rug hooks. There was also a selection of silver handled buttonhooks and shoe horns, and a large amount of linen (as if I needed more).

And this was the sunset on my way home.

Because I was taking totally different stock to the Flea I needed to load up the car to check that I could get everything in. I managed it ... just ... and then had to unload it all again as I was off to Bath early on Saturday morning and didn't want to leave the car full of goodies unattended. Ten o'clock was the appointed hour for H's latest dress fitting (she's going to be a beautiful bride ... not that I'm in the least bit biased of course), followed by me being pinned into navy fabric to get my shape. I was then sent off with the instruction to return at 1.45 for the next fitting. When I got back the navy fabric had become cream silk and vaguely resembled a dress. A quick nip and tuck here and there, and I was sent off again until 3.45. This time it was a proper dress and we decided on the hem, the neck and the sleeves. The Country Casuals jacket I bought a few weeks ago has been amended slightly, and the hat, shoes, jacket and dress all look "rather fetching" in my opinion. It's not me, of course, but I'm quite impressed with "the look".

I finally got home about 6.15 and loaded up the car (again) ready for the early start on Sunday morning (leaving home at 6.30am). Sunday was, as you know, a brilliant sunny day, with no sign of the torrential rain I had ordered after the last Giant Flea. Amazingly I sold well again. Although there were so so many outside pitches we still got a good traffic flow through the Showering Pavilion, and I had above average sales.

On Monday it was a case of blitzing the house in the morning (stock everywhere), ready for Han and Rob to come over in the afternoon. We began printing the Order of Service and generally went through the guest list and discussed all the other aspects that needed to be discussed. Tuesday I wielded a paintbrush from morn till dusk, or so it seemed, and finally finished both our bedroom and the spare room. So, all is done apart from bed 3/office which may or may not get done before the wedding.

And so we reach today ... which was "put pictures up for Mum day". So P and I spent a couple of hours drilling holes (the walls are so hard that nails or hooks won't penetrate), tweaking here and there, and finally coming up with a result that was apparently pleasing. There are still more to put up (she has too many to count!), but we're saving those for another day as I had a dealer visitor mid-afternoon who I had to spend some time with discussing the finer points of antique dealing, whilst enjoying a cup of tea in The Old Town Hall Antiques in Somerton. We both resisted the cakes and I'm glad to say I've now lost 16lbs. When I go back for my next fitting on 1 May she may need to take the seams in a little (fingers crossed!).

So, to answer my initial question ... this is where the last 9¾ days have gone!! And there was so much more I was going to show and tell. Like the pretty blue cupboard we've hung in the bathroom, the evening coat I crocheted in the late 70s, the flowering currant and the grape hyacinths in the garden. Oh so many things, but I expect you've all dropped off to sleep by now! In case you haven't ... here they are!

02 April 2007

Our Day Out!

First of all, thanks to everyone for your good wishes on our 30th WA, and also to everyone who has commented on my other posts this past week. Life continues to be fairly hectic so my apologies if I haven't reciprocated!

We did manage to get our day out as planned, and had a jolly journey on the West Somerset Railway (nice and warm), got blown about somewhat in Minehead (brrrrr!!!!!!), got warm again on the train, stopped off at Watchet (where, last time I visited there were 3 antique shops) and got really cold there, as the wind was quite biting by then. The antique shops were gone, or closed, and the museum was shut. We got back to the station just beating a slight shower and in the little shop I was pushed by a friendly ghost! I kid you not! I was pushed forward by something whooshing past my left calf. I thought it was a gust of wind like you get when a train rushes past, but there was no train. The lady behind the counter told me the shop was haunted and that often happens. She thinks it's a small child racing around. She's been aware of another (friendly) female presence, too. I wasn't worried by it at all, and she said it was only because the ghost liked me! I can live with that!

We got home about half past six, and rounded the day off with a meal at one of Somerton's hostelries. So all in all a nice, relaxing (albeit chilly) day.

Enjoy the journey with me ... the first slideshow is the outward journey to Minehead. (At least Pauley wasn't wearing an anorak, even if he was an avid trainspotter in his youth!).

This second slideshow is a selection of photos taken in Minehead and on the return journey (until the camera battery died!). There was a Continental Market in Minehead (see the sausages, bread and cakes). The last photo (which you may not be able to see clearly), is at Watchet and says "THE FAIR BREEZE BLEW. THE WHITE FOAM FROM THE FURROW FOLLOWED FREE". And the fair breeze did indeed blow!!

And 15lbs (a whole stone and a pound) have now blown away, too!